A social scientist with a multidisciplinary practice, Professor Willcocks' research is in the field of old-age. She encourages diverse audiences to recognise the significance of the creative/cultural economy. She also engages public policy and practice debates to secure health & wellbeing through social inclusion.
In the City of York, Professor Willcocks is Chair of the Fairness and Equalities Board. She is former Chair of the York Theatre Royal Trust. She is a Vice Chair for the York Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. She is also Health Champion for York’s Older People’s Assembly and Patron of OCAY: Older Citizens’ Advocacy York. Professor Willcocks was a founder member of York's first and continuing Lifelong Learning Network, Higher York. She has served on the HEFCE Board. She is an Associate of the Higher Education Academy and of the Leadership Foundation for HE. She is also trustee on the Governing Councils of London Metropolitan University and Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance. She presently serves on the DCMS Project Board for the Great Exhibition of the North 2018.